Tony Schwartz, president and CEO of The Energy Project, wrote a great post featured in the Harvard Business Review today on "No" is the new "Yes": Four Practices to Reprioritize Your Life. He talks about meeting with other CEOs and how they find that they don't have enough time in the day. That got me thinking, I bet a LOT and I mean A LOT of our Small Businesses and Nonprofits feel exactly the same way! Check out his 4 tips below!
1. Schedule in your calendar anything that feels important but not urgent: The key to success is building rituals, so that over time they become automatic.
2. As your final activity before leaving work in the evening, set aside sufficient time - at least 15-20 minutes - to take stock of what happened that day, and to decide the most important tasks to accomplish the next day.
3. Do the most important thing on your list first when you get to work, for up to 90 minutes (if possible). Also, try to keep your door closed, your email off, and your phone on silent. Devote yourself to that task for as much uninterrupted time as possible.
4. Take at least one scheduled break in the morning, one in the afternoon, and leave your desk for lunch. These are times that you can reflect on what you've done and what you still need to accomplish.
Tell us, do you have any routines that help you get what you need done? What are they?
Hi. Great tips though it's hard for me to schedule 90 uninterrupted minutes at the beginning of each day since clients often want to meet then. I do make sure to buffer time between appointments during the day. I used to schedule too many appointments in a given day and that created a lot of stress. Now I make it to appointments ready to go having had time to collect my thoughts.
Another routine for me is to spend one hour each evening after the kids go to bed working on whatever needs to get done that day. It's a time when I get no calls and very little email, which means 'productivity time'. Some people don't like to take their work home and I don't argue with that, but this routine has served me well..
Thanks for sharing what works with you, Mike! I agree, 90 minutes is a long time to take away from your day. But even 30 minutes could be very beneficial!
Yes, good point. Even 30 minutes would be useful. I may shoot for 30 in the am to add to the 60 I do in the pm and that'll be my 90!
#3 is the most important IMO. The two problems I think we deal with the most is working on little things that eat up time and "way" too many interuptions. I have often told employees, "I'm not here." and they know that it means I need to concentrate on finishing something important. Once we get those high priority tasks out of the way, there's a lot less stress on us to complete the smaller ones.